Tuesday, December 13, 2011

He who whispers loudest.

It's been a pleasant wander around the last few remaining bookshops in west London, stopping off in Waterstone's to peruse the laughable tome that is XFM's 1000 best songs. I wonder if it would have been such a poor effort if Capital radio hadn't sullied the XFM brand. Can anyone seriously consider the Wonder Stuff's Size Of A Cow as their best moment? Practically every previous single was superior to that nonsense which one suspects was written around a title dreamed up over a failed evening of cow-tipping. Further proof of the inadequacy of the compilers is the choice of I'm Free as the sole representative of the exceedingly disappointing Soup Dragons. They started their career brightly with such jaunty ditties as Swirling Round The Garden, Whole Wide World and Hang Ten before descending into the darkened cellar of ordinariness in order to gain public recognition, which worked for a brief time. The real question is if either of these groups could squeeze but one song into a top 1000.

Having evacuated those thoughts from my troubled mind I'll return to the mysterious case of Tac-Tix and probably their only 7" release, Whisper On The Street/See The Love, which generated enough interest to sell for £165 though there were only three bids. They hailed from Guildford apparently and released this in 1988 on the R.E.Good label. Seller Strike Up Matches has a good pedigree with C86 devotees but judging by the sleeve this could be as big a dud as the Y Do I single.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Johnny Solo can now afford to buy a boat.

It's been a while since the Johnny Solo single has appeared on ebay or so I thought until I did a bit of research. It was on in July and sold for £5.99. Now a few months later it returns and sells for £110. The cheap one was listed under reggae/ska, this latest was in the punk/powerpop category. Did that make a difference? Yellow Dinghy is, I think, their only release on 7" and I'd like it myself to add to my list of "yellow" songs : I Like Yellow Things, Alone In My Yellow, Mellow Yellow, Yellow And Red, The Colour Yellow..............................

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stereotypes---------It's a record!

Unbelievably a couple of years back this single was available as a buy it now from a usually very clued-up dealer. For how much you ask? £200. Yesterday it sold for £1,020. This is the highest price I've seen paid for a punk single by a fairly anonymous outfit. Legendary it is though and I wonder who shelled out a grand for it. The Stereotypes released this four track 7" on Hinterland, their own label, and it's crude no-nonsense punk but with this artifact it's not about the quality, it's about the scarcity, probably only a hundred pressed. Tracks are Parisian, Telephone Affair, Countdown and Champagne Suicide.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cypress, Mine! as expensive as a tin mine

Returned in time for that ho ho ho time of year. An obscure Irish band Cypress, Mine! rarely appear on ebay but avid indiepop fans get all in a tizz when they do. This 7" sports three tracks, Justine, Sounds Like Rain and Funny Street. I'd hazard a guess that this is probably bound for Japan as it is usually only oriental magpies that pay £296.54 for a single.

Friday, July 29, 2011

EYE ON EBAY----Who the hell would pay that?

Who The Hell Does Jane Smith Think She Is? fetches a remarkable £122. Really astonishing as it isn't that hard to locate. Well I can only speak from my experience of finding the 12" in MVE for
£1 about three years ago. I also have the 7". I think this was their only release and it has sold for a lot less in the past.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

EYE ON EBAY-------Retired surfers resting place

Newquay where can be found many a muscled moron aboard an oversized tea tray. But back in 1973 one imagines a more sedate visitor who might well have relaxed whilst being aurally caressed by the singers, instrumentalists, composers and arrangers of Newquay School expressing themselves in myriad ways on the lp Nearly All Our Own Work. Among the usual dalliances with Broadway standards and trad ar lurk a few originals, pick of which is a throat-growling number called Do You Wanna Try It? Probably recorded after all the kids had been packed off to bed it sounds like one of the dads with an Iggy fixation snuck into the studio and had an attack of the Joe Strummers. A little lumpen but the guitar is as heavy as fury. I won't claim that Kevin Calcutt, the writer, invented punk but he must have connected with it a few years later. The following track Sunrise returns to the prevailing mood of the era, pleasant wispy folk. I dug this up in a charity shop in Oxford for £2. Then I saw a copy on ebay which sold for £120.


EYE ON EBAY------Refused my invite

Who are the Guests? I lost the courage to bid on this as it ascended the financial ladder resting on the £205 rung. This single was released in 1980 on A Label Called Mabel and consisted of four tracks, Hit The Scene, Live In, Melt Down and Impressing The Press. They also had a track on a comp called Owt For Nowt which sold a few days later for £95.53.


Monday, June 6, 2011

EYE ON EBAY------Hit by falling moon rock

Big price paid for a single by Moonstruck. Modboy was the seller so interest was strong especially as he talked this one up claiming it to be one of the last powerpop/punk unknowns from the era. Regular readers of this blog may contest that claim. I have never heard it, or of it until this auction which attracted a flurry of bids. It was a promo and there were no titles on the label and Modboy only knew one, It's Just A Matter Of Time ( Before They Drop The Bomb ). Unclear who was going to drop the bomb but sounds a promising title. Only a 100 pressed. Sold for £335.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

EYE ON EBAY-----Compare and contrast

So finally after hope double-dashed a copy of On The Waterfront, an Essex band from the mid 80's, appears on ebay. I first acquainted myself with this elusive 12" in a charity shop about three years ago. Flicking through the usual morass of Mozart, Beethoven and Wunderlich I was all agog when said band's only masterwork massaged my defeated eyes. Joy and rapture, or at least mild excitement, overcame me. Then frustration as the record had eloped from it's sleeve's needy clasp. In vain I pulled out records from other sleeves but my vigour, though valiant and persistent, yielded no reward. In the following months I would sporadically visit the charity shop and hunt yet again until one day the sleeve disappeared too. My second meeting with the record was at Olympia record fair. The dealer sold it to me for a reasonable £5. I glanced at the condition and happily took it home. About to play it I realised that it was the wrong record, it was on the same label, Wizz, but it was their second release not the first which On The Waterfront is. Deflated I resorted to admitting that the cruel twists and tangos of farcical fate had conquered me.

A few months later and up it crops on ebay. I even meet the dealer who is selling it at a record fair who assures me that he'd tried to sell it before and nobody was interested. I'm cautiously optimistic though I note that it does have one bid. Come the auction countdown there is suddenly a little more interest. The dealer's words are rotating in my head until they spin themselves into oblivion and the final price is £191.61. This is not my bid. I'm outgunned in the last seconds. I'm more bewildered than fed up, and soon my natural perversity kicks in and I'm amused. I'll laugh and by doing so befriend my foe fate.


Within a month the single reappears on ebay. No doubt the seller has seen an extravagant sum paid for this indie jewel and wants a piece of the pie. I'm expecting rivals but doubting it will zoom up to the giddy heights of the previous auction. Come the day and there has been no interest shown. As the final minutes tiptoe by I man the keyboard with trepidation. Into the final seconds and still no bidding activity. This is bizarre. I glance at the seller's feedback. 100%. Suddenly it's all over and I'm the only bidder. Record won for £1.50. And yes it did arrive in the post, and not in pieces, and it played perfectly.


EYE ON EBAY------Did it come with a flake?

£99 was the sale price for this rollicking piece of powerpop by The Form. Released on Elephant records in 1980 the single offered three tracks, Watch Out, Start Again and London Underground. Nothing more came from their particular school of music. Got my copy for a quarter of the sale price in Rat Records, Camberwell about a year ago, excuse my smugness.


Friday, May 6, 2011

EYE ON EBAY-----Sharp cut

A rare appearance on ebay for the Tantara Blade single released in 1988 on King Dice. As expected there was much agitated keyboard punching ensuring seller Strike Up Matches a healthy return of £170.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

EYE ON EBAY-----Expensive apprentice

No idea where ebay seller Strike Up Matches sources his stuff from but it always attracts interest. Also wonder how much of it is really top notch C86 style indie. For instance The Recruits maybe as dire as Y Do I although Mr. Matches likens them to The Jeremiahs and Where Gardens Fall which was enough to get two bidders attention. The single was released in 1989 and the titles were See My Face/Dream Heaven Scene. Sold for £86.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

EYE ON EBAY------Religious man gets the bill

Are we being misled here? The Monk Bought Lunch is apparently a C86 humdinger that ardent fans of indiepop must own. Three tracks, Love And Hate, Paint It White ( perhaps an answer record to the old Stones classic ) and The Sailor's Tilted Hat ( some sort of secret homosexual code perhaps ) struck a jaunty chord with a few and so this independently released 7" from 1991 sold for £122.


Monday, March 14, 2011

EYE ON EBAY-----Expensive full English

Have recently returned from New Zealand where I was fortunate enough to evade any falling rubble. On the North Island when the quake struck, a week earlier we had been in Christchurch. So sad to see so many lives lost.

Back to more mundane matters and the English McCoy 12" makes an extremely rare appearance on ebay. Expected this to cause minor disturbances in deep pockets and it lived up to expectations selling for £375.10. I put in a pallid bid of £62. I'll just have to console myself with giving the 7" a spin.


Monday, January 31, 2011

EYE ON EBAY-----Off the beaten cycle path

More musical malarkey from one of the Desperate Bicycles, this time Dan Electro, trading under the name Dayshift. Missed out on this one so I've yet to enjoy this dose of delightful insanity. Sold for £52.87.


EYE ON EBAY----The gentle rain of charity falleth upon my head.

Picked this Hot Rain single up in a charity shop about a year ago for £1. Based, I believe, in Southport, they made pleasant indiepop which has traces of the Prefab Sprout minus the arch lyrics. So a little pallid for some tastes, yet this achieved a reasonable return for seller Modboy of £37.


EYE ON EBAY----No Way I''m spending that much

Expect to pay £332 for the No Way single and you would. Possibly the fact that this tasty morsel was signed by three members of the band helped encourage a high return for the seller. Maybe if the reluctant fourth member signed the sleeve the seller might have made more.



Unknown indie effort from some bunch who call themselves Living With Robert. Three ditties called Close To Me/Won't Be Around/Times They Are A-Changin', the last possibly a cover of the Dylan classic. This was released in 1987 on Big Home Productions. Sold for £30.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

EYE ON EBAY---------Expensive angels

Having not yet located the Holy Grail this will have to suffice as a replacement which, in indiepop circles, it most certainly is. The Wee Cherubs supped from a similar chalice to fellow Scots Orange Juice if a little more anaemic in sound but that might be down to the rather primitive production. The single was released on Bogaten, according to the catalogue number the second release on said label, so what was the first? Apparently, due to lack of sales, several hundred copies of the single were dumped so estimates vary about how many exist but I'd guess around 600. Having won the single a few weeks back for a hefty £381 I was mildly miffed to see this copy undercut my winning bid by £16 (for those lacking a mathematical brain the sale price was £365). Listening to it I almost conjured up my former malnutritioned indie kid self though once it ended I noted that my middle age protuberance still jutted gently outward. If you wish to hear unreleased Wee Cherubs stuff plus Dreaming get yourself off to Youtube.


EYE ON EBAY----Dose of double Duffy?

Mickey Rourke's Fridge was not only a home to the mighty Hey Paulette but also The Dadas from Dublin. Their 12" contained three songs Mercy Mercy/Skyscrapers/Maybe. This may have been long past its best before date, circa 1992, but bidders still had an appetite for it; it sold for £92.